Chris and I are still exploring places we haven’t visited before in our area. I think this pandemic has helped us to discover local things even more and it makes me happy to be able to do that and share neat places we have discovered on It’s Just Life. Last week we popped over to Holmes Educational State Forest outside of Hendersonville, NC. It is another one of those places that we drive by all of the time but have never stopped.
The biggest draw to this park is the talking trees. What a great way to teach children (and adults) about trees. We found out things we did not know and it was fun to listen to them. Pro tip: many of them have more than one “message” so press the button for different narrations .
There is plenty to see besides the trails. We found the Fire safety area to be interesting complete with a Huey Helicopter that was on display.
Another area shared a Monarch Way Station and a labyrinth. I had not expected to find that there but what a great idea to have one in a place of beauty like this educational park.
Of course the trees and wildflowers are some of the most beautiful things to observe here and along with all types of educational programs this is really a place that I loved on our first visit. The Covid -19 pandemic has slowed down a lot of the structured activities at the park but everyone is invited to come walk the trails safely and enjoy some of the best nature has to offer.
The Holmes Educational State Forest has a great website which shares a lot of information about their programs and policies including a nice trail map. The forest is free to everyone and activities are also free. Read more about their purpose as stated on their website:
Holmes Educational State Forest has been providing the citizens of North Carolina a living outdoor classroom where visitors of all ages can learn about the local natural forest environment since 1977. The forest, which started out as a nursery developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, has now become one of seven educational state forests located throughout the state. The land along Crab Creek Road was obtained by the state in the mid-1930’s to provide North Carolina landowners White pine and Yellow poplar seedlings. By the late 1960’s the state moved the nursery to Avery County and developed Holmes has a small state forest. Since then, the forest has grown into a diverse woodscape that includes many other plant species from herbs on the forest floor to towering forest trees.Holmes Educational State Forest website
The forest lists their season and hours as follows: Open March 1 through November 20th. Closed Mondays. Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm , Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 6 pm For more information check out their website by clicking here.